Blogs


Notices

Does anyone have a disabled sibling?

Old 03-24-2009, 04:56 PM
  # 1 (permalink)  
Never settle.
Thread Starter
 
gneiss's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Under immense pressure
Posts: 1,505
Does anyone have a disabled sibling?

Coming to terms with my drug and alcohol use has opened a whole new world of discovery about factors that I never thought would have influenced my addiction or recovery. One of them is coming to terms with stuff that happened when I was a kid. My sister was in a car accident when I was 13 (she was 15). She never fully recovered from her injuries, which included a traumatic brain injury. My parents basically put on blinders about me, and I more or less raised myself from then on. They need me to be the kid with no problems so they can focus on her, and this attitude persists into our late twenties.

I've also learned that siblings of the disabled have a weird set of issues from that. So, anyone out there have a disabled sibling? There's a forum for "sibs" over on ***** and I find lots of support there, but no one willing to 'fess up to an addiction.

Maybe I'm just looking for a little more commonality here. I have a great set of people who understand addiction, and a great set of people who understand the fun (note dripping sarcasm) of having a disabled sibling, but no one with both of those. Thanks!
gneiss is offline  
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to gneiss For This Useful Post:
LBrain (08-07-2014), MythOfSisyphus (08-07-2014), Verte (08-06-2014)
Old 03-24-2009, 05:02 PM
  # 2 (permalink)  
I got nothin'
 
Bamboozle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: My house.
Posts: 4,889
Blog Entries: 14
Good thread, gneiss.

No experiences of my own...just wanted to say hi and I hope you find someone who can relate.
Bamboozle is offline  
Old 03-24-2009, 05:30 PM
  # 3 (permalink)  
Member
 
paulmh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 1,415
I can relate. My only sibling has Downs.
paulmh is offline  
Old 03-24-2009, 05:55 PM
  # 4 (permalink)  
Administrator
 
Dee74's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 196,243
Blog Entries: 1
I am disabled - cerebral palsy - but my siblings are 'normies' LOL.
In my family it seemed to go the other way - I was the one they had blinders on about.

I get it today - my folks did the best they could.

D
Dee74 is offline  
Old 03-24-2009, 06:21 PM
  # 5 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Flint MI
Posts: 4,455
I am with Dee, I was the disabled one.......very much pampered yet at the same time that was only from one parent while the other exspected me to be normal so I didnt embarass him.......good luck with your postings though I hope you can find the support that you need

Pamm
WLDKATZ is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to WLDKATZ For This Useful Post:
LBrain (08-07-2014)
Old 03-24-2009, 09:50 PM
  # 6 (permalink)  
Never settle.
Thread Starter
 
gneiss's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Under immense pressure
Posts: 1,505
I didn't mean to make it sound like I wanted to exclude other views. Sorry.

My parents did the best job they knew how to do. Doesn't mean it didn't kinda suck, and I'm sure my sister feels like she got the short end of the parenting stick too. *Shrug* That's life, I guess.
gneiss is offline  
Old 03-24-2009, 09:58 PM
  # 7 (permalink)  
Administrator
 
Dee74's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 196,243
Blog Entries: 1
I didn't feel excluded Gneiss LOL....

I just wanted you to know I've been there, albeit from the other side kinda - just for future reference, like

and like you, my folks best kinda sucked too...but I turned out ok - eventually.
Looks like you feel the same way

D
Dee74 is offline  
Old 03-25-2009, 07:02 AM
  # 8 (permalink)  
Resident
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Posts: 4,150
I can't contribute much here.
My wife's sister has MS but she got it after she was a woman. I don't think it really affected her that much when she was growing up.
Ny sister was a trouble maker so a lot of my parent's energy went into getting her out of trouble. I guess I may have felt neglected to a degree but I can't say that I ever really thought about it.
Fubarcdn is offline  
Old 03-25-2009, 07:52 AM
  # 9 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: France
Posts: 783
I had a disabled stepson. He drank himself to death. It's not easy being on either side, but it was certainly easier for me than for my stepson.
californiapoppy is offline  
Old 03-25-2009, 08:37 AM
  # 10 (permalink)  
Member
 
KindBird's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 753
My younger sister had epilepsy from very early childhood. I grew up taking care of her - my parents kind of ignored it as long as they could.. My father was a real alcoholic and my mother became one later in her life (both no longer living). She was on medications her whole life and her overall personality became pretty altered.

She died 3 years ago from her condition. She lived almost a half century and it was a real struggle for her. In her last few years she was more or less homeless and would not take any help from family.. It is a very sad story. I was really close to her because I took care of her as long as she would let me (from infancy into her adult years).

I never really thought much about being the sib of a disabled person before this - i.e. not this specifically. There must be a lot of us out here.

Provocative thread, gneiss.. thanks.. KB
KindBird is offline  
Old 03-25-2009, 09:14 AM
  # 11 (permalink)  
Never settle.
Thread Starter
 
gneiss's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Under immense pressure
Posts: 1,505
I never thought about it much either, KB. I sort of randomly happened across a book about the psychology of sibs and decided I'd read it. Why not, right? It's called The Normal One by Jeanne Safer. Pretty interesting read, and I recognized myself in several parts of the book (though by no means all).

Thanks!
gneiss is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to gneiss For This Useful Post:
LBrain (08-07-2014), paulmh (08-22-2014)
Old 03-25-2009, 02:01 PM
  # 12 (permalink)  
Member
 
KindBird's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 753
Thanks, gneiss, for the book info.

I have a lingering feeling of unfinished emotions with my sister and have been at a loss for how to explore those emotions. This book might be a good catalyst.

:ghug3
KindBird is offline  
Old 03-26-2009, 01:04 PM
  # 13 (permalink)  
Member
 
SelfSeeking's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Northeast US
Posts: 1,340
Blog Entries: 2
One of my siblings is deaf, although I don't think of him as "disabled". More like a member of a different culture and my family as bilingual/bicultural. There were definitely some significant adjustments that we made when I was a kid but I'm not aware of any waves in the fam any more, now that we are all adults. I got to learn American Sign Language when I was little, when learning languages is so much easier, and my deaf sibling is an awesome human being, so all in all I feel really lucky
SelfSeeking is offline  
Old 06-21-2009, 10:14 PM
  # 14 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: League City TX
Posts: 3
hey
Im 17 & I have a older sister that has epilpesy- she 23. Which is pretty uncommon.
its a pretty hard time right now. B/c I'm bout to leave to go to college, I got a car and a laptop and she didnt get any of that.
I've always felt that my parents trated her better and that she would get anything that she wanted and I would feel bad if I asked for money or wanted ot go & do something.

But now she is saying that shes the one that is getting treated badly. & that she wants to leave and doesnt want to come back. & I dont know if it was b/c of being fathers day or what? I say that b/c 2 yrs ago my dad passed away. & I feel bad b/c if she leaves then know one will be here for my mom.

so if you have any advince please let me know!!

thanks
chef81391 is offline  
Old 06-21-2009, 11:13 PM
  # 15 (permalink)  
Never settle.
Thread Starter
 
gneiss's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Under immense pressure
Posts: 1,505
Hey Chef! Welcome to SR. Thanks for reviving the thread!

I felt a lot like you do, from your description. I went off to college at 18 (I'm 28 now) with mixed emotions: tremendously guilty because my sister couldn't leave home, relieved that I no longer was expected to be her caretaker/companion, and all the regular excitement and fear of being on my own for the first time. Guess what happened? My first semester was a bit of a disaster. I didn't know what to do with myself because I was so used to taking care of my sister that I didn't really know how to make friends. I felt a bit depressed because, happy as I was to be away from that caretaker role, it was what I did for so long that I didn't have any idea what a normal college-age girl did for fun. So I skipped class almost every day, went online but hardly interacted with actual humans, and basically ignored the world.

My sister also says she was the one treated poorly by our parents. I don't think either of us were treated poorly, but I think our parents were in far over their heads. They didn't know how to properly parent her and because they focused so much on trying not to mess that up they sort of smothered her and neglected me.

You sound like me: you know your parents have their hands full so you have to be the perfect child. You don't want to cause any more problems for your parents so you don't say anything when your needs are not met. All I can really tell you is that you deserve to have parents, too. This was not a role you signed up for, and your sister is not your responsibility. Don't feel bad about living your life for yourself. Your success has nothing to do with your sister's life, so don't apologize for it.

You might check out the book I mentioned: The Normal One by Jeanne Safer (I think you can buy it pretty cheap on Amazon). Also check out the ***** group called SibNet. There are lots of people there who can give you advice and understanding.
gneiss is offline  
Old 06-22-2009, 06:47 AM
  # 16 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: League City TX
Posts: 3
thanks Gneiss!

i'll check the book and the ***** group out!

samtha
chef81391 is offline  
Old 06-23-2009, 02:00 AM
  # 17 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 35
Hi there. I'm not in this boat, but professionally I'm in a related field.

Have you read "Being the other one: growing up with a brother or sister who has special needs" by Kate Strohm (2005)? There's nothing about substance abuse in it per se, but a lot of the stories would resonate with you.
Piglet123 is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Piglet123 For This Useful Post:
paulmh (08-22-2014)
Old 06-23-2009, 04:19 PM
  # 18 (permalink)  
Never settle.
Thread Starter
 
gneiss's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Under immense pressure
Posts: 1,505
Thanks, Piglet. That book has been suggested to me as well as a few others but so far I have not gotten around to actually picking it up. I've found that while somewhat related, my issues with my sister and my drugs are pretty much separate. I was kind of working on some of the sister issues, just getting past stuff and accepting that she and I are not friendly and never will be, but I started doing drugs and quit caring. And then I had to work on staying off drugs (still do) so the sister stuff is on the back burner, on the top shelf, and in the back of the closet.
gneiss is offline  
Old 06-30-2009, 08:59 PM
  # 19 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: League City TX
Posts: 3
thanks Piglet.

I will check it out.

samtha
chef81391 is offline  
Old 06-30-2009, 09:28 PM
  # 20 (permalink)  
☯ ⓌⒾⓁⓁ☯
 
Zencat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Oxnard (The Nard), CA, USA.
Posts: 8,279
Blog Entries: 12
Welcome chef81391 to soberyrecovery.com and Secular Connections in particular.
Zencat is offline  

Currently Active Users Viewing this Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off




All times are GMT -7. The time now is 02:49 PM.